Highland Lakes Dredge and Fill Ordinance


Effective Jan. 1, 2022, dredge and fill activities on the Highland Lakes must meet requirements of the Highland Lakes Dredge and Fill Ordinance.

Tier I activities include relatively small projects that may be authorized without a permit by submitting a written notification and supporting documents to LCRA.

Larger projects, referred to as Tier II and Tier III activities, require a permit from LCRA.

Dredging activities include the removal of material or structures such as piers, bulkheads, foundations or other similar manmade structures affixed to land located below the regulated pool elevations of the Highland Lakes. See Section 3 of the HLDO for the regulated pool elevations of the Highland Lakes.

Dredged material includes any material intentionally and incidentally disturbed through dredging, including earthen material that is commonly found in submerged areas or along the shoreline, including dirt, soil, rock, clay, silt gravel, sand, rock, or other similar substance, as well as materials removed coincident with dredging of such natural materials, such as trash, tree limbs, or other similar items.

Activities that may involve dredging include, but are not limited to, constructing or maintaining improvements including shoreline stabilization, boat ramps, boat slip or canal excavation, or other similar construction along the shoreline or below the regulated pool elevation of the Highland Lakes. The removal of flood debris or other trash that is not embedded in or affixed to land below the regulated pool elevations is not considered dredging.

Fill activities include the placement of any material, structure, wall, riprap or revetment below the regulated pool elevation of a lake, including any material deposited or placed on the lakebed or along the shoreline that extends above the regulated pool elevation.

Tier I projects

  • Activity is authorized and implemented in accordance with LCRA’s Army Corps of Engineers Lakewide Permit, or
  • Project will dredge less than 500 cubic yards of material or disturb less than 500 linear feet of shoreline (except for commercial dredge and fill activity), or
  • Project is conducted by a utility to make an emergency repair of utility infrastructure.

Tier II projects (not including commercial dredge and fill activity)

  • A single project or combination of single projects that together will dredge 500 or more cubic yards of material or disturb 500 or more linear feet of shoreline.
  • Dredge or fill activity related to the construction and maintenance or repair of critical infrastructure or a utility’s facilities or equipment that will dredge 500 or more cubic yards of material or disturb 500 or more linear feet of shoreline, regardless of duration or surface area.

Tier III projects (commercial dredge and fill activity)

Tier III projects are allowed only in these designated areas:

*Updated April 1, 2022

Tier III dredge or fill activity:

  • Has as its primary purpose the resale of dredged material, or
  • Involves any dredging or fill that will:
    • Remove 500 or more cubic yards of material, occur over more than 3 surface acres, or occur along more than 1,500 feet of linear shoreline, and
    • Will occur more than 30 days per year or over the course of several years.

Dredge and fill activities are subject to scheduled and unscheduled inspections by LCRA. Read more about LCRA’s inspection protocol.

Submit questions, comments or complaints through Contact LCRA. Read more information on the complaint process for this program. View 2023 complaint statistics.